56 organizations denounce the insidious behavior of certain senators and the unfounded attacks on Judge Jackson

Contact: Raphael Medina, [email protected]202.869.0390

WASHINGTON — The Leaders’ Conference on Civil and Human Rights, joined by 55 organizations, has raised serious concerns about baseless and harmful attacks by some senators on Judge Jackson’s record. the letter addresses this insidious behavior, thwarts reckless attacks on public defenders and criminal defense attorneys, and fixes the record on Judge Jackson’s sentencing practices.

The groups’ letter reads, in part, “The attacks on Judge Jackson’s service as a federal public defender and the clients she vigorously represented are spurious and undermine one of the central tenets of our democracy.” The right to counsel is one of our nation’s most fundamental principles, helping to fulfill the Constitution’s promise of a fair trial and the Sixth Amendment’s right to counsel. The Supreme Court has reinforced the right to a lawyer, considering it a “fundamental right essential to a fair trial”. Thus, the work of public defenders and criminal defense attorneys is essential. Those who enter public office as public defenders and criminal defense attorneys – like Judge Jackson and so many others – should be commended, not slandered. The letter continues: “The attacks on Judge Jackson’s case grossly misrepresent her work and threaten the ideals of our democracy. Despite these inappropriate and knowingly misleading attacks, Judge Jackson displayed a calm and patient judicial temperament, reminding senators that constitutional protections are not privileges reserved for a privileged few, but rights afforded to all. It’s a much-needed perspective on our highest court.

The letter adds: “The attacks on Judge Jackson’s conviction record in the out-of-production child sexual abuse material cases are baseless. As explained by those who have studied this issue closely, Judge Jackson’s sentences were well within the range of her peers. The 2021 U.S. Sentencing Commission report noted that less than 30% of those convicted of substantive non-production child sexual abuse offenses received a sentence within the guideline range. Such discrepancies were also described to Congress in a 2012 report by the US Sentencing Commission. In those reports, the commission recommended that Congress change the guidelines, but “[t]To date, Congress has not implemented the Commission’s statutory recommendations or directives. It is within the authority of Congress, not the courts, to update sentencing guidelines.

The letter can be read in its entirety here.

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 230 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all people in the United States. The Leadership Conference works for an America that lives up to its ideals. For more information about the Leadership Conference and its member organizations, visit www.civilrights.org.


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